I think the famous Christmas song is mistaken. The most wonderful time of the year to me has to be Autumn.
Think about it. It's glorious! The leaves are changing, the trees are covered in rust and gold, the air is crisp. I think of Autumn and immediately smell a woodburning fire place and feel a cold breeze on my face. I think of caramel apples and leaves crunching under my shoes and warm sunny afternoons. I think of roasted marshmallows and bonfires and hay rides.
Technically, I suppose Autumn is a season of dying. The leaves offer one last, gasping breath of color before succombing to winter's chill. The world is giving up life for the winter, to be reborn in the spring.
But to me, Autumn represents life. The season falls toward the end of the calendar year, but its also a time of fresh starts - such as the school year beginning. It's a season of change - changing the clothes in our closets, changing the decorations inside and outside our houses...and hopefully changing our mindset as another season graces us with its red and yellow presence. We can choose to embrace the coming season and the coming holidays with joy. We can choose to offer our lives as a colorful sacrifice to Christ, just as the leaves do every year. We can choose to be clothed in God's glory and live our lives worthy of honoring Him.
In honor of my favorite season, I'm doing a book giveaway this week. Alison Pittman's SPEAK THROUGH THE WIND, a potent, inspiring story of forgiveness and change.
Here's a blurb:
When Reverend Joseph plucks a gravely wounded child from the mean streets of Manhattan’s rough Five Points District, he intends to give her a real home. And though Kassandra flourishes in the preacher’s house, learning Bible verses at his knee and going to school, as a young teenager she makes the first of many devastating decisions, running away from the only haven she’s ever known.
What follows is a waking nightmare: life in a tiny room above a brothel, the loss of a child, a lover’s rejection, and finally, life as a prostitute. As circumstances lead her further and further from the reverend’s secure home, an ashamed Kassandra is certain that neither God, nor Joseph, will ever forgive her.
Feeling as though she has nothing left to lose and nowhere to go, Kassandra leaves behind her hopes of redemption and heads west to California, where she is transformed into the woman known as Sadie.
Unfortunately, nothing in her life is pointing to a happy ending, and Sadie is forced to grapple with the question: Once you’ve passed the point of no return, can you ever go back?
To sign up for this amazing novel in the Crossroads of Grace series, simply leave a comment to this post telling me your favorite part of Autumn and why. Then check back this upcoming Friday the 28th to see if you won! =)
Happy Autumn, everyone!